Members of the pilgrimage group from now-Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary are pictured with Cardinal O'Malley following a Mass at the cardinal's titular church in Rome April 25. Pilot photo/courtesy Pope St. John XXIII Seminary via Facebook
WESTON -- A group of some 47 pilgrims with ties to now-Pope Saint John XXIII National Seminary were among the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered in Rome to witness the canonization of Pope John Paul II and the patron of their seminary, Pope John XXIII.
Seminary rector Father William B. Palardy and faculty member Father William F. Murphy were among the pilgrims.
"To be celebrating our 50th anniversary and to have our patron canonized is really an incredible moment," Father Palardy told the CatholicTV Network, while on the pilgrimage.
Those taking part in the pilgrimage left Boston April 22 and arrived back April 29, toured holy sites in Italy, reconnected with former rectors of the seminary, celebrated Mass with Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley on their trip, which culminated with the canonizations of the two popes in St. Peter's Square.
As they toured Assisi, pilgrims attended Mass at "la Chiesa Nuova" celebrated by Father Palardy.
The pilgrims experienced a Mass celebrated by the seminary's former rector, now vicar general of the archdiocese, Bishop Peter J. Uglietto at Cripta Porziuncola in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, before experiencing some of the Holy sites of the area that included a stop at the basilica and tomb of St. Francis.